The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just issued a new update to its ongoing investigation of a months-long Salmonella outbreak linked to turkey products. The update, which is the first since mid December of last year, adds over 60 new confirmed cases of Salmonella infection to the 200+ cases that were already logged.
A total of 279 cases have now been confirmed across 41 states, with over 100 hospitalized patients and one death resulting from the outbreak. Unfortunately, the bulletin brings more bad news as there’s still been no confirmed source of the Salmonella, and the investigation remains active.
According to the CDC, those who have come down with the bacterial infection previously ate turkey products in many different forms from countless brands. Some victims were even infected by handling raw turkey pet food, and health officials have identified the specific Salmonella strain in both turkey products and live turkeys.
That last point is the most troubling, since Salmonella in live turkeys in various locations could indicate an incredibly widespread problem. The CDC explains:
The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading is present in live turkeys and in many types of raw turkey products, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry. CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and requested that they take steps to reduce Salmonella contamination.
The CDC also offers some tips on preventing Salmonella infection from products on your own home, including washing your hands thoroughly after handling any raw or undercooked turkey products, cooking turkey to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any bacteria, and avoiding raw meat diets for pets.
A number of companies that produce turkey products have issued recalls for their products, including Jennie-O. You can view the various recalls and specific products on the CDC’s website.
Salmonella infection typically lasts up to a week and includes symtpoms such as diarrhea, cramping, and fever. Antibiotics can help, and in some cases may prevent death in individuals with weakened immune systems or the elderly.